King and Queen attend royal honours service at St Paul's Cathedral

15 May 2024, 10:13 | Updated: 15 May 2024, 14:28

The King and Queen have arrived at St Paul's Cathedral in central London for a service of dedication for the Order of the British Empire.

Established by King George V in 1917 to reward outstanding contributions to the war effort - it now recognises the work of people from all walks of life.

Around 2,000 people who are holders of the royal honours such as MBEs and OBEs - from the UK and Commonwealth - formed part of the congregation.

The King is the Sovereign of the Order of the British Empire, and the Queen is the Grand Master of the Order of the British Empire.

It comes after the King carried out his first investiture in five months - and his first since his cancer diagnosis - at Windsor Castle yesterday.

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, who conducted the service for the coronation, was one of the 52 recipients of an investiture - and was given the Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order.

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Awards of the Royal Victorian Order are in the King's gift and are bestowed independently of Downing Street to people who have served the monarch or the Royal Family in a personal way.

He said the King seemed in "very good spirits indeed" and was "looking very well" as they spoke during the ceremony.

The monarch, who is receiving treatment for an undisclosed form of cancer, was given permission by his doctors to return to public duties last month.

Dean of Westminster Abbey Dr David Hoyle was among the other people honoured at the ceremony, as he was made a Knight Commander for his own role in the coronation.

He revealed there were plans for a building in the King's honour to be built on the side of Westminster Abbey.

"We have already done the archaeology, so the site is prepared. We have plans which the King has seen. We hope we might have it built in the next two to three years," he said.

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The King has invested a handful of people with honours over the past few months.

However, these ceremonies took place in private during individual audiences at royal residences.